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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    February 21, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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let me finish tonight with this. what happened to the republican party of the 1960s. what happened to them? what happened to that republican party? for the civil rights act, a republican vote in the u.s. senate was 27-6. in the house, it was 136-35. four out of five republican members in both houses for civil rights. for the voting rights to follow, the republican vote in the senate was 30-2.
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overwhelming in all cases. i'm watching this debate over the voting rights act and i'm struck with the reality that the reason for today is the republican party. not the party of the 1960s. but the one that's backed voter suppression efforts in dozens of states and keeps on doing. every time a state passes another bill making it harder to vote, cutting down on voter days, exz e exz tending voter id requirements, you have to wonder are they doing precisely what the voter rights act was designed to stop? >> the republican party can be proud in certain regards. certainly the backing of certain men like edward durks. the question today for this young century is whether the republican party will be as proud in the future for the positions it's taking now. that's "hardball" for now.
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"politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in i'm live from washington. tonight's lead, winning the argument. new polls show the american people support the president, not republicans, on the major issues of our time, including the fundamental questions of fairness and equality in our society. today, on my radio show, i talked to the president about the gop's refusal to stop disastrous spending cuts set to kick in next week, even though republicans themselves admit those cuts would hurt our economy and endanger our national security. take a listen. >> you have really been strongly saying that we've got to overt where this is going. what can listeners around the
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country do to deal with this pending crisis. we're looking at eight days from now a major problem if we can't turn it around. >> so basically, what's happened is yeah, the republicans, back in 2011, threatened to default on the government paying its bills, unless we instituted a deficit reduction plan of $1.2 trillion. and what the deal was, the cuts were going to be so harmful, democrats and republicans would come together to find a more sensible way to reduce the debt with tax revenue and spending cuts. obviously, congress has not been able to make such progress. the republicans have said they don't want to do anymore revenue, even if it's just a matter of closing tax loopholes for some of the wealth yesz americans and well-connected
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corporations in the country. and so the danger is is that this will weaken the recovery. we'll see hundreds of thousands of people on furlough. potentially losing their jobs. we can see mental health services affected. head start slots taken away. at this point, you know, we continue to reach out to the republicans and say this is not guilty not going to be good for the economy and not good for the american people. i don't know if they're going to move. so i think, for the public just to know that this will have a serious effect for head start for their kids or mental health services for somebody in their family. it's going to have an impact on a family cut back for things like meat inspectors or folks at our airports, which means that airport lines may be longer. those are all going to be significant impacts.
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everybody is going to feel them. whether or not we can move republicans at this point to do the right thing is what we're still trying to gaj. >> significant cuts. everybody's going to feel them. head start, mental health, food safety, airports, our military. all of that is at risk because republicans refuse to close tax breaks for corporations and the rich. this is what the election was all about. and it's clear whose side the american people were on. 55% of americans approve of the job that the president is doing. that's a three-year high. but just 35% approve of the republican party. that's a three-year low. the clock is ticking. we are just three years away for
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massive cuts that will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. joining me now, richie wolf and joe madison who had his own radio interview with the president toad. joe, the president has a compelling case on these spending cuts. i mean, how can republicans just standby and let them happen? >> i think what's going to happen is you're going to see a gainsmanship here. let's take national security. usually, republicans were very strong on national security, there's no way that they would allow national security to become an issue as it relates to budget cuts. but imagine they let us go over this cliff and then the re3ubly cans come back and introduce a bill for those funds to be reinstated. now whapsz? democrats end up, if they're
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against it, like they're soft on defense. >> so they want to let it go down and then come back with the defense when, in fact, they let it go down with the sequester. which is why they were put there in the first place. >> and something else the president said. he said, look, the federal government, it's not just about bureaucrats and federal employees. this is about the fact that the united states government buys everything from toilet paper to saran wrap. i mean, they buy a lot of things. and that means that the small businessmen and women will not be able to sell their products to the united states government. and we say meat inspectors. okay. so we think inspector here, inspector there. but hold on. you can't put meat on the
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shelves if they're not inspected. and then, what happens is there's a shortage. and what happened to all of us? the price of meat goes up. >> and those of us already suffering, it even inflates that because the prices go up. >> karl rove is all over the place. a minority welcomes them. i mean, even karl rove is saying there's no unity in terms of the republicans on this view. this can be extremely dangerous for them. >> if you're not united, you're just divided, right?
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>> so carl karl rove knows where the principles are on this one. >> you know, to a degree, he is. he has to play both sides of the party just like john boehner. just like his boss, president bush. and they can read what's written on the wall here. they will make themselves feel strong. they're going up against the president. they're being tough about spending cuts. but you do not make up the deficit in the polls. this kind of scenario, every day, every week, there will be those furlough letters going out. so even before we get to meat not getting on the shelves, there are going to be bad stories about government workers, not generic government workers, but fire fighters, people trying to raise their
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families, go out, do an honest day's work. they're going to be the story. not tax cuts. not the president against john boehner. >> you see u joe, this is what the e lerksz was all about. and i raise this to the president on my radio show today. why would the republicans even risk this or even do this to the american people when the election is over. they cannot vote him out. he won't be running again. and listen to what his answer was to me. it seems they understand the impact. i don't understand why anyone would even risk this when it will impact so many people across economic lines, racial lines, party lines. i mean, it's just going to be something that hits everybody. >> well, my sense is that their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes
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on wealthy individuals or corporations. and they would prefer to see these kinds of cuts that could slow down a recovery over closing tax loopholes. and that's the thing that binds their party together at this point. this is a major argument, obviously, we've been having for the last three years. i'll tell you, now, you know, when you look at polling, 75% of the american people agree with me. that if we spread that out over several years, it wouldn't have a bad effect on our economy. it would strengthen our economy. unfortunately, i think republicans, right now, have been so dug in on this notion of never raising taxes. that it becomes difficult for them to see an obvious answer right in front of them.
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>> you know, joe, later this afternoon, the president would have 12 of us that lead civil rights organization. and people could not understand this. we're talking about loopholes for private jets. loopholes for yachts they don't want to close. they would rather keep them there, those loopholes, than to make sure we don't lose thooez thin these things that people keep every day. >> as i was listening to him, this is one of the most decent human beings that i think i've ever met in politics. look, the bottom line is they want to impact his legacy in one of the worst ways. here, they are still going afterhim.
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i think this goes beyond the politics, the sensebleness that we're talking about. i had a guy actuallily tell me on my show today oh, i don't mind giving up a few dollars furlough. i said how much would you have to give up? he said $20,000. i said you don't mind giving up $20,000? and then he thought about it. the bottom line is he so dislikes the concept of this man being president, that his subconscious told him i'll give up $20,000 if it means, somehow, embarrassing this president. i think they're more kwon certained about how history will judge this president than they really are about today and the impact that this austerity is going to have on all of us, including their mothers and grandmothers and everyone else. >> well, we'll have to leave it there. let me give a news flash to all of them. president obama and his family will be fine. he will be president.
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he will hopefully go to the obama library. it is regular, working people. it is your granld mother. my relatives. your children. people that will work every day that will suffer. at some point, we've got to put the politics and the bickering aside. people should not have to suffer to make cheap political points. richie wolf, joe ma dayson, thank you for your time tonight. >> ahead, honoring the legacy of rosa parks. what the president told me about this. and about his fight to finish the struggle for civil rights. plus, you won't believe what the gop's last savior, the latest savior, ted cruz is saying about president obama. he's totally crossing the line. and look out. rush limbaugh's quote. ashamed of america. folks, he may have finally lost it. big show tonight on msnbc. stay with us.
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♪ it's a longs walk to d.c., but i've got my walking shoes: i can't take a plane, bus or train because my money ain't that long ♪ ♪ we believe ♪ we believe ♪ that you love us still ♪ so i'm going under to wipe away my tears ♪ [ coughs ] [ angry gibberish ] i took something for my sinuses, but i still have this cough. [ male announcer ] a lot of sinus products don't treat cough. they don't? [ male announcer ] nope, but alka seltzer plus severe sinus does it treats your worst sinus symptoms, plus that annoying cough. [ breathes deeply ] ♪ oh, what a relief it is! [ angry gibberish ] so i used my citi thankyou card to pick up some accessories. a new belt.
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some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up. [ male announcer ] with no blackout dates, you can use your citi thankyou points to travel whenever you want. visit citi.com/thankyoucards to apply.
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have you joined the "politics nation" conversation on facebook yet? we hope you will. today, folks were wishing congressman john lewis a happy birthday. he's 73 years young. john says happy birthday to a true hero and a gentleman. we need more like you. ali says you make me proud to be from georgia. reginald says i appreciate
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all you've done and continue to do for civil rights. later in the show, find out what president obama said about rosa parks in my interview with him today. but, first, we want to hear what you think. please head over to facebook and search politics nation and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. olay ultra moisture body wash can with more moisturizers than seven bottles of the leading body wash. with ultra moisture your body wash is anything but basic. soft, smooth skin with olay. a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel.
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>> on issue after issue, president obama and the american people are in agreement. and he's been selling his message in interviews around the country. >> i want to make sure that we have a pathway to citizenship. that is earned by folks that are here undocumented. we want to affirm that when you purchase a gun, you're not somebody who's got a felony. . i think same-sex couples should have rights and be treated like everybody else. >> a new poll shows the side with the american president on his second term agenda. they support his policies by 17 points over the republicans. on climate change, they support him by 21 points. on raising the minimum wage, 45 point. and even on the contentious
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issue of gun control, he still holds an advantage over the g oh, p: the president is ready to do the will of the american people. the time is now. >> they want us to do some work. now is a good time for us to get some things done. >> republicans need to open their ears and listen to the american people. joining me now, joan walsh and angela rye. how can republicans be so disconnect frd the will of the american people? >> i think when folks really focus on winning elections and not representing people, you lose sight of what's most important. public service is just that. >> we've seen it with
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interracial marriage. we've seen it throughout time. and sometimes you have to help folks to see what really matters and how to move them ahead on issues that they may be uncomfortable with. the american public has shifted. the party is still the same, but they're focused on winning elections. >> angela's point, some of them were contentious, some of them were the majority, but slightly. but when you look at minimum wage, joan, 71% of americans want to see minimum wage increase. 71%. how can the gop oppose 71% of the country. these polls are national, but increasing what you have is really like two nations. you have these red states and these red districts and you have house gerrymandering so that all
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of these -- many of these republicans think about is their next election, as angela said and a primary challenge from the right. a and i think we have to understand that he's doirng the right thing for their state. so they're really going to restrict his legacy. they're going to try to make it harder for him to solve the problems. but this is a kind of success on their very limited red state terms. i think we have to acknowledge that. it's not about nationwide reasoning or logic. it's about pure, backwards looking politics. angela, you worked on the
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hill. take me inside a republican caucus. take me inside. what happens in these caucuses that they're so removed from reality in the street? i don't understand and i don't think the viewers do, the culture of what goes on in these caucuses that make them come out and vote this way. . >> again, with the republican conference, thank god i never had to be in a meeting, i'm not exactly sure. but what i can say is that tomorrow, someone is going to have some way to justify that these polling results are not legitimate in some way, shape or form. they will continue to argue this.
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they identify as republican party members. there are others that have shift today be more conservative and are now independent. but at the end of the day, their base is shifting. they can shift with their base based on what these polling results say. our r or they can continue in the conference meetings that are not off base. >> they're looking at their districts, some of which have been gerrymandered. so even if the national polls say 71% minimum wage, they're saying, yeah, but my district is not saying that. i suppose that is why the president and those that agree with him, somebody else is not going to suffer. you're going to suffer where you are even in conservative districts if we cannot stop this sequester. >> well, right, reverend ael.
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you and i have talked about this before. >> they've come to believe that government helps other people and not them. but when you get down to these cuts, there is a way for the president and democrats and for reasonable people to reach over these leaders and make clear what they're going to do. and i think that's what the president is doing. hoping that the more he talks and the wider he has message goes, he can reach people they cling to it because it has represented something else in the pass. >> if the american people understand you're talking about meat inspectors not being there, which is going to increase your meat, not left meat or right meat, that you're going to have long lines at the airport, not the republican airlines.
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the people understand the people will suffer because they don't want to close loopholes on private jets and yachts. then it's a little different. >> yeah, they are your neighbor's interest. this absolutely will directly impact you from social security to education programs. >> when you go to the suturer market, they're not going to ask for your id and party affiliation. >> still ahead, the new darling of the tea party, ted cruz makes some outrageous comments about president obama. you'll want to hear this. plus, more from my interview with the president. his thoughts on rosa parks and
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the continuing struggle for civil rights. ♪
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>> it's been a tough couple of months for mitt romney. it's been tough to be mitt roam knee. thank you, america. god bless you.
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> . >> president obama wasn't the only one that romney wanted to be out of a job. remember this? >> i'm going to stop pbs. i like pbs. i love big bird. i actually like you, too. but i'm not going to keep spending money on things to borrow money from china to pay for it. >> romney wanted to fire big bird. and he talked about him on the campaign trail all of the time. >> i'm not going to kill big bird, i promise. >> it was aparentally a big priority for the romney campaign. so this video must be very painful for mitt to watch. >> hi, we're here in the white house kitchen looking for a healthy snack to eat.
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>> not only did big bird keep his job, he made it all the way to the white house. his words must really ruffle mitt's feathers. >> and now i'm dancing. >> 2k3w50d for you, big bird. big bird is dancing in the white house. certainly seems like november was a long time ago. this segment was brought to you by the letters o and r and the number 47, percent that is. stub. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! could lose tens of thousands of dollars on their 401(k) to hidden fees. thankfully e-trade has low cost investments and no hidden fees.
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the right has gone crazy for him. former senator jim demint, the man who promised to make health care president obama's waterloo, rights that cruz cheers. he's a true leader who gives americans a reason to hope. wow, flattery will get you everywhere. and then there's these guys. ted cruz, the new senator from texas. >> he is fearless. he doesn't make excuses. he's not defensive in anyway at all. it's a plshl to hear him. when you hear ted cruz, you're wondering, what happened? why aren't there more? you've got to understand what we're facing and ted is one of those guys. >> ted krrksz ruz, i've seen him speak and he is spell binding. he really is. he's just a tremendous or tor.
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>> today, cruise was one of the 15 gop senators who asked president obama to drop chuck h arks gra hagel as secretary of defense. >> i think president obama is the most radical president we've ever seen. but i think an awful lot of republicans fail to stand for prinsz pl and contributed at getting us in this mess. >> president obama is the most radical president we've ever seen? good luck on that rebrandings, republicans. jonathan, is ted cruz the right's idea of change? >> ever since they've loes, they've looked for someone to be
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their standing bearer. we talked about congressman ryan and then we moved onto chris christie and now everyone is focused on ted cruz because ted cruz has made some impertinent comments and he's been sort of the bull in the china shop among republicans, but also democrats. and my colleagues at "the washington post" had a column on him and the mainstream media piling on jim cruz. >> i understand all the mainstream media. i'm in dchlt c. but the man called the president the most radical president in history. what are we talking about here? >> well, what we're talking about is a man who is playing to the base. that kind of talk as we learned during the 2012 presidential campaign, is something that the republican party, the base of the republican party, loves, they love someone to talk to him.
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>> victoria, you're in texas. what do you think? >> well, what it is, as ted cruz oozes this texas swagger, this feistiness that the tea party finds irresistible. he's like the general in this tea party militia. i think he is somebody that is going to be around for a while in this movement. i think the more silent type is the one that's going to have an impact in the third party movement and the gop. i see rand paul, who doesn't have that swagger that ted cruz does, but he's got papa pa's political establishment. so i think in terms of a real
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split, what's going to be durable, not just a flaush establishment, and i think it's going to be the paul establishment. >> it is very clear that this e sequester is a threat to a lot of people. hundreds of thousands of people facing furlough or job loss. yet, rush limbaugh was talking about the sequester and said he was ashamed about being what he called a manufactured crisis. >> for the first time in my life, i am ashame d of my country. to be watching all of this, to be treated to have my intelligence -- all of us -- to have our common sense and intelligence insulted the way it's being is -- it just makes me ashamed.
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>> what is he talking about? we're talking about things that will automatically be cut. so that we could concern tax loopholes for yachts and private jets? >> what he should be ashamed of is that washington can't get its act together. sequester was put in there not just as a stick, but as a guillotine to make them say oh, my god, we've got to do something. we can't have this happen. you have members of the republican policy saying you know what, we should let sequester happen. >> now, victoria, you look at they haven't really changed much of anything in this rebranding.
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look at cpac this year. they have romney, sarah palin, even fall right people like allen west and wayne lapierre of the nra. is this the new gop? the nra is invited, but not conserve tef gay rights groups. >> they are cosmetic changes. but i have to admit, the one that doesn't fit in this whole puzzle is romney. >> they're so confused, internally, that that's going to stumble them going forward. >> jonathan, exclude the conservative gay groups while
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welcoming people like wayne lapierre, doesn't that send the signal that they're not going to be there? >> i would argue it's the same old republican party. so by them kicking out, go proud, it's sort of the standard m.o. but by keeping out gays and lesbians, by keeping out african americans, the republican party is sealing its fate as a second tear party. and they won't go there because the republican party just isn't welcomed. >> i hope he doesn't need a drink of water while he's speaking. victoria and jonathan, thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks, rev.
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>> ahead, a powerful story of giving back. a medical doctor who's fighting to hear the city where he grew up. and then, more of my interview today with president obama. his thoughts on black history month and rosa parks. stay with us. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers.
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tonight, the powerful story of a young man who made a choice that might have saved his life. >> growing up in northern nnk nj, sam son davis could have embraced the street life. but after almost going to prisonments, he made a life-changing decision. day visz and two of his friends made a pact to rise above the dangerers, to study hard and to become doctors. and they did it. their incredible story became a best-selling book and then a documentary. but dr. davis isn't done. not by a long shot. he went home to be an emergency room doctor.
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>> joining me now, dr. samson davis. welcome you to the show. >> thank you. >> your first book, how did it turn your life around? what happened when you made that decision to turn your life around? prie prior to that, i had an incident. i realized then i had to change my life around if i wanted to survive. >> so you were arrested for armed robbery, you were that close to going to prison and when you didn't have that problem, you made up your mind to turn it around and become a doctor. >> right. >> i mean, i always wanted to do something positive in life. so i felt like helping people in the medical field would allow me to help me give back and to help save other lives and to help them have a bright future. >> you decided to have an
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emergency room in newark. you told the story that happened on the first day that really, really got to me. what happened on your first day of work as a doctor in the emergency room in newark? >> yeah, it was during my trama rotation and it was a name on the board in the trama room. don moses is the name i referred to in the boox. th this is a young man who i grew up. there was a name and it was crossed out and underneath it was written deeszed. his body has been removed. but it it home. had i gone down that same direction, my life could have d ended up the same way. >> so your first day, it's almost like some sign saying that this could be you. >> absolutely. >> as you go through this in life, as an emergency room
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doctor in fnewark, what do you hope your book might help them and their pact and the satisfactory of you and your two friends? >> these are real-life stories. you have stories about depression, you have stories about stds, you have stories about cancer prevention. my whole thing is people read the journeys of other individuals who, unfortunately, their lives were lost. it may be something that's impacted their lives. and by that wave, it's something that they've impacted in their life. there's anecdotes of the chapter that they can apply to their lives. >> now, you see a lot of gun violence in your line of work, especially in newark. and you talk about the idea of macho posturing. what is that? >> macho posturing is the reference to young man who don't know how to handle conflict. when they have a disagreement one another, thigh resort to violence.
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>> now, your book is about your life, but it also includes some important information about health care, including mental health care. why is it important for you to include that information? >> well, mental illness is something that plagues the communities. and specifically in the inner cities, you see mental illness as something that's taboo or a stigma. we don't talk about. we don't address the issue. some of the end results of depression you see played violently on the streets. all of that is a result of depression not being addressed, initially. in your community of newark, you call it brick city. these kids that go the wrong way, that don't make the choice you make, a lot of them do it because they don't believe they can make it? they've lost hope? >> absolutely. what skpampl do they have to monitor themselves after?
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on every street corner they turn, they see negativity. my hope is to put a face so they can model themselves after it. >> dr. samson davis is a powerful story. the new book is living and dying in brick city. an e.r. doctor returns home. it's a great read. we'll be right back with more of my interview with president obama talking about black history month and the legacy of rosa parks. stay with us. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing
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no two people have the same financial goals. pnc works with you to understand yours and help plan for your retirement. visit a branch or call now for your personal retirement review. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+. february is black history month. and, this morning, in my radio interview with president obama, he spoke about what that means to him. personally. >> black history mornt means what to you as president? >> one of the things that's most
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valuable for me is to watch the next generation absorb things that you and i might take for granted but for a lot of young people, is fresh and new. so when i see malia and sasha taking time to read more about not just rosa parks and dr. king, but bob moses and sandy lieu la milton and charles houston and all the people who layed the foundation and the ground work for the civil rights movement, i think that's very powerful. >> the president also said now is the time to reflect on where we've made progress and the work still left to do. >> i think if you work hard and you have opportunity and you're able to take advantage of it, the sky is if limit for african americans in our country. it just wasn't true a generation ago.
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on the other hand, the lingering effects of the great recession means there's a whole lot of communities and a whole lot of people who are out of work, still struggling. and that's why son-in-law of the initiatives i talked about at the state of the union are so important. we've got to make sure that as a society, we're creating ladders of opportunity for every child, not just a few. >> ladders of opportunity for every child. that includes our most fundamental right. next, he argues about the voting rights act. it protects everyone's right to vote. no matter your color or creed. critics on the right say we don't need it anymore. and they seem to have found support on the high court. but they're wrong. the voting rights act is fundamental to protecting our rights. the president made that buoyapo last dwleer e year when he visited the bus made famous by rosa parks.